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LOVE ISN'T MEASURED BY THE FOOT



"I am sure that everything is going to be fine," I said to Sheila. Her husband had gotten himself into trouble, for one thing or another and my wife and I invited her and her son to come over to eat meals with us until she could find out exactly what had happened with her husband, Robert.

Dinner was about ready, so I sat down at the end of the kitchen table trying to console Sheila. About a minute later, I jumped up as heard a large explosion and smoke immediately began to fill the kitchen. I ran as quickly as I could down the hallway and into my 10-year-old son's bedroom. When I looked down, all I could see was that the entire top of his tennis shoe was gone, as well as the top half of his foot.

There were hundreds of holes blown into the walls and ceiling, and blood was everywhere. Within minutes, the ambulance was speeding along with full lights and siren carrying us to the local emergency room. Of course, the police and federal agencies were notified, and descended upon the hospital within an hour, as I was an inspector at the Riverbank Ammunition Plant in Riverbank California.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Sheila's son, Robert had brought a blasting cap into our home. He and my son, not knowing what it was, had connected it to a large battery, which itself had exploded when the blasting cap ignited.

Roger's little body was covered in shrapnel wounds. I spent the next three weeks, 24 hours a day at the hospital, including Christmas Day. In spite of all that had happened, it was one of the best Christmas' that I have ever had. My son and I joked together almost every day and we sang, "All I want for Christmas is some dynamite," which shocked some of the nurses to no end.

The nurses watched for months as I cried many a tear each and every time they unwrapped, washed and re-bandaged my son's badly damaged foot. But what they did not realize was that I was not crying because of what happen to my son's foot. I was crying tears of joy, because I was so happy that my beautiful son's eyes, face, arms, legs and life had been spared.

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.


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